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Use of primary care and other healthcare services between age 85 and 90 years: longitudinal analysis of a single-year birth cohort, the Newcastle 85+ study

Lookup NU author(s): Mohammad Yadegarfar, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger, Dr Rachel Duncan, Tony Fouweather, Professor Barbara Hanratty, Professor Dame Louise Robinson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objective. To describe, using data from the Newcastle 85+ cohort?study, the use of primary care and other healthcare services by 85-year-olds as they age.Design Longitudinal population-based cohort study.Setting Newcastle on Tyne and North Tyneside, UK.Participants Community dwelling and institutionalised men and women recruited through general practices (n=845, 319 men and 526 women).Results Contact was established with 97% (n=1409/1459) of eligible 85-year-olds, consent obtained from 74% (n=1042/1409) and 851 agreed to undergo the multidimensional health assessment and a general practice medical records review. A total of 845 participants had complete data at baseline for this study (319 male, 526 female), with 344 (118 male, 226 female) reinterviewed at 60 months. After adjusting for confounders, all consultations significantly increased over the 5?years (incidence rate ratio, IRR=1.03, 95%?CI 1.01 to 1.05, P=0.001) as did general practitioner (GP) consultations (IRR=1.03, 95%?CI 1.01 to 1.05, P=0.006). Significant increases were also observed in inpatient and day hospital use over time, though these disappeared after adjustment for confounders.Conclusions Our study of primary, secondary and community care use by the very old reveals that, between the ages of 85 and 90 years, older people are much more likely to consult their GP than any other primary healthcare team members. With a rapidly ageing society, it is essential that both current and future GPs are appropriately skilled, and adequately supported by specialist colleagues, as the main healthcare provider for a population with complex and challenging needs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yadegarfar ME, Jagger C, Duncan R, Fouweather T, Hanratty B, Parker S, Robinson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2018

Volume: 8

Online publication date: 24/01/2018

Acceptance date: 22/11/2017

Date deposited: 08/02/2018

ISSN (print): 2044-6055

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ publishing group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019218


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